“Kotoko”, “Himizu,” “Kokurikozaka Kara,” and more join the 36th Toronto International Film Festival

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival has announced many more of the films in this year’s lineup. It was already announced a couple weeks ago that the festival will screen Ishii Katsuhito’s “Smuggler” (starring Tsumabuki Satoshi) and Okiura Hiroyuki’s animated “Momo e no Tegami.” The festival recently added 5 more films from Japan, along with one from Iran featuring Japanese stars.

The newly announced films are:

“Kotoko” – Tsukamoto Shinya – the first film starring singer Cocco
“Himizu” – Sono Sion – based on Furuya Minoru’s manga of the same name and starring Sometani Shota and Nikaido Fumi
“Kokurikozaka Kara” (“From Up on Poppy Hill”) – Miyazaki Goro – the latest full-length work from Studio Ghibli
“Monsters Club” – Toyoda Toshiaki – starring Eita and Kubozuka Yosuke
“Space is the Place” – Sonoda Eriko – a 6-minute silent short film
“CUT” – Amir Naderi – starring Nishijima Hidetoshi and Tokiwa Takako

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to September 18, 2011.

Ghibli’s newest film “Kokurikozaka Kara” opens at a dismal third place

“Kokurikozaka Kara,” the latest animated feature film from Studio Ghibli, opened at #3 over the three-day holiday weekend July 16-18, facing stiff competition from the final “Harry Potter” movie and the newest “Pokemon” project, which ranked #1 and #2 respectively.The movie is the second film directed by Miyazaki Hayao’s son Goro “Tales from Earthsea”. It opened in 457 theaters across the country but only managed to bring in an audience of about 450,000 viewers, for a gross of approximately 587 million yen. In comparison, last year’s “Karigurashi no Arrietty” opened on 447 screens and earned 1.35 billion yen from nearly 1.04 million moviegoers.“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ had a huge opening, with roughly 1.2 million people attending over three days for a gross of 1.761 billion yen.The new “Pokemon” release actually consists of two separate full-length films that opened simultaneously, a first for Japan’s animation industry. Combined, the two movies pulled in 790,000 people on 351 screens, for a total of 826 million yen.